Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 04, 2003
Study shows critical role for steroids in insect embryonic development
A study conducted by University of Utah genetics researchers shows that the steroid hormone ecdysone controls an important phase in the embryonic development of insects, providing an unexpected parallel with the role of the hormone in controlling metamorphosis.

New research reveals corporations increasingly make employees face the music
Forget performance related pay and flexi-time, new research by Martin Corbett from Warwick Business School reveals large corporations increasingly use hip pop music to develop loyal, hard-working employees, and encourage workers, literally, to sing from the same hymn sheet.

Concerns over national policy on infertility treatment
Decisions about providing fertility treatment on the NHS should be made locally according to need and priority, rather than through national policy, argues a leading medical ethicist in this week's BMJ.

Current gentrification in Atlanta contrasts to previous waves of restoration
Changing demographics and a greater appreciation for central-city living have sparked a new wave of gentrification in Atlanta.

Should ambulance crews perform emergency breathing procedure?
A study in this week's BMJ questions whether ambulance crews can master the skills needed to provide emergency intubation (passing a breathing tube down the throat of severely injured patients) before they reach hospital.

Improving bone implant technology
Orthopedic, dental, and other bone implants are becoming commonplace, but they are not yet trouble-free.

Cancer biologists and a cardiologist take a new look at aggressive tumors
An unusual collaboration between a University of Iowa cardiologist and cancer biologists at the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI, the Scripps Research Institute in California and Kanagawa Cancer Center Hospital and Research Center in Japan utilized a multidisciplinary approach to learn more about how aggressive cancer cells function and how they differ from poorly aggressive cancer cells.

New Colorado U. study shows increase in fungal metabolism under the snow
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study has shown that microbes living under the tundra snow pack ramp up their populations in late winter, a finding with implications for changing estimates of carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere.

Heart failure is more common but less fatal in South Asian people
In the UK, more South Asian people are admitted to hospital with heart failure but are less likely to die than white people, according to a study in this week's BMJ.

From quantum to cosmos: NSF lectures explore the physical sciences
The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites media and members of the public to a series of lectures sponsored by the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

New directions for cardiovascular medicine
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in developed countries (over 700 000 deaths annually in the USA, 256 per 100 000 population).

Fire on French Riviera
A month after an earlier blaze was quelled, fire returned to the forested hills above the French Riviera this week.

Organ-transplant patients at particluar risk from low MMR vaccine uptake
A letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET highlights how low uptake of the MMR vaccine could be putting patients with compromised immunity-such as those who have undergone organ transplantation-at particular risk of measles.

Purdue food scientists improve testing of health supplements
Purdue University researchers have discovered a faster, less expensive method to test the quality and purity of dietary supplement oils, such as flax seed, borage seed and grape seed oil, often touted as cures for many human maladies.

New compound library to speed drug discovery
Making drugs is a difficult and costly business. Even before companies spend exorbitant amounts on clinical trials (most of which fail), they already have spent significant time and money identifying the best drug candidates for those trials.

UCLA astronomers detect plasma at black hole
UCLA astronomers have detected remarkably stormy conditions in the hot plasma being pulled into the monstrous black hole residing at the center of our galaxy, 26,000 light years away.

Study at TSRI links dozens of proteins to several rare muscle and nerve degeneration diseases
A team of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has identified more than 50 previously unknown proteins and associates several of them with rare human muscle and nerve degeneration diseases.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder could have similar genetic causes
Authors of a study in this week's issue of THE LANCET provide strong evidence that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have a similar genetic cause arising from reduced expression of genes responsible for myelin development of the central nervous system.

Microbes active in Colorado snows fuel tundra ecosystem
Populations of fungi blanketed by Colorado's snows are more active and diverse than previously thought, and are likely responsible for the productivity of the tundra ecosystem they are a part of, according to findings by scientists funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) and Microbial Observatories programs.

HHS announces new regional centers for biodefense research
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced grants totaling approximately $350 million spread over five years to establish eight Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (RCE).

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2003
Highlights from September include,

Text messages could lead to health inequalities
Reminding patients of appointments with their doctor by text messages is generally a good idea, but may increase health inequalities, according to a letter in this week's BMJ.

University of Pittsburgh receives two grants to try to increase organ donation/procurement
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine's Department of Critical Care Medicine have received two three-year grants totaling more than $1.5 million from the U.S.

NASA helping to understand water flow in the west
To do their jobs, water resource managers in the Columbia River Basin have mostly relied on data from sparsely located ground stations among the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest.

Scientists uncover early warning system for copper toxicity
Scientists at Northwestern University have acquired new insight into how a specialized sensor protein detects dangerous amounts of the

Regional consortium of universities chosen for biodefense initiative
A consortium of investigators from six regional universities has been chosen to be part of a new biodefense initiative that will work to develop the next generation of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests against emerging infections such as SARS, and for defense against organisms such as smallpox that might be used in bioterrorist attacks.

DNA throttle controls molecular machine
A DNA sequence that acts as a throttle to control the rate at which an enzyme moves along the DNA has been observed by researchers at UC Davis.

University of Cincinnati conference draws top names in physics
String theory will be one of the hot topics examined by scholars from around the world at the University of Cincinnati-hosted

Study finds potential way to improve cancer immunotherapy
Drugs that contain antibodies are a standard part of therapy for many cancers, but these antibodies do not always work.
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